Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Leader Dr. Mohamed Habib denied having any intention of moving away or splitting from the organization after not being elected to the organization’s Guidance Office. He said “the [Muslim Brotherhood] group lives in my whole being and my mind, and I think about it [the Muslim Brotherhood] even when I am asleep, so how can I leave?” In his first statement following the Guidance Office elections, Habib told Asharq Al-Awsat “I am still the First Deputy to the [Muslim Brotherhood’s] Supreme Guide, and I am still a member of the international General Guidance Office, and the international [Muslim Brotherhood] Shura Council, as well as the [Muslim Brotherhood] Shura Council in Egypt.”
Dr. Habib told Asharq Al-Awsat “Before I joined this group [Muslim Brotherhood] in my youth I was nothing, I had no message and no role and nothing in this life, and after I joined the Muslim Brotherhood I became something different, I had a role with regards to Islam and society. My ties to the organization cannot be broken because these are ties of love.”
Dr. Habib said that everything that is being said with regards to him leaving the Muslim Brotherhood is untrue. He said “As far as I am concerned this group [Muslim Brotherhood] is my life, my hope, my dream…this is the world, and the hereafter, as well, so how can I leave?”
Dr. Habib acknowledged that there have been differences of opinion between him and some Muslim Brotherhood figures with regards to the elections saying “I confirm that there are many details that have yet to be revealed, and these will be announced when the times comes, for not everybody who knows speaks.”
Habib also said “I was hoping for a greater chance and more time prior to the elections for the [Guidance] Office, the Shura Council will end its term next June, therefore I thought the elections would be postponed until this time, and with great love and respect to all brothers, I believed that it was better and more appropriate to wait, for there was no need to rush.”
However Habib added “I ask for God to help our brothers to proceed forward otherwise they will take a step backwards, for they are facing tremendous challenges, and I ask them not to be distracted by me or my position, but they must be concerned about the welfare of the group [Muslim Brotherhood].”
Habib said that the Muslim Brotherhood belongs to all of its members, from the Supreme Guide to the lowest member and that the organization “belongs to the entire Islamic ummah, who has high hopes for it.”
As for the elections for the position of Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, their results are expected soon, and there are rumors that Habib may be elected to this position as a kind of recompense for not being elected to the Guidance Office. Habib said “the entire issue is in the hands of the Shura Council, but I hope that the Council sits back and takes its time [in making its choice] whatever the decision of its members, we ask God to guide them in choosing the appropriate person to undertake this role in light of the tremendous challenges present.”
The election of the Muslim Brotherhood’s 16-member Guidance Office, the results of which were revealed last Monday, saw a number of surprises, including the exit of Deputy Leader Dr. Mohamed Habib, and other prominent figures such as Dr. Abdul-Moneim Abdul-Futuh, Abdullah Khateeb, and Sabri Arafa, and the election of Dr. Assam al-Arian.
Dr. Mohamed Habib’s exit from the Guidance Office is surprising, especially as he is the Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Leader, and is a front-runner to be the next Supreme Leader of the organization after the current Supreme Leader Mahdi Akef announced that he would not be standing for re-election following the end of his term in office next January.